Brighton v Leeds United - Marcelo Bielsa press conference every word, Whites boss makes salary admission and fronts up to worrying position
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa held his pre-match press conference today ahead of Saturday evening's Premier League clash at Brighton.
The Whites are approaching the 13th round of fixtures of the top-flight campaign sat fourth-bottom in the table and just two points clear of the drop zone following Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
Brighton are six points and eight places higher up the table in ninth but Graham Potter's side have gone seven league games without a win following their impressive start to the 2021-22 campaign which featured four wins from their first five games.
Bielsa spoke to the media at 1pm and here is every word that was said by the Whites head coach who had six players out injured for last weekend's defeat at Spurs.
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Thank you Laura Collins
Brighton v Leeds United - Marcelo Bielsa press conference, every word
Last updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2021, 14:53
- Marcelo Bielsa facing the media at 1pm
- Leeds visit Brighton in a Saturday 5.30pm kick-off
- Ninth versus 17th, six points between the two sides
- Brighton have gone seven league games without a win
That’s it from Marcelo
Full transcribe of every word said to follow
On Tyler Roberts - would you allow him to leave in January if he was interested in that or would that leave the squad too short?
“With respect to if we are missing players or if the squad is short or small, I have the impression, we would have to value if the team really needed signings and if the design of the group was badly calculated in function of the injuries that were produced. When you add players to have a bigger group it decreases the possibilities to come into the first team. If you have more players for the same need, there is less minutes for the players so I look over the decisions that I make. When Shackleton has been the alternative to Ayling when he hasn’t been there I think when he he played it has been valued. Pascal has been the alternative when Firpo and Dallas have not been available at left back and in the last two games he has shown that he deserved that trust. When Llorente has been missing, Cresswell and Ayling have given positive responses. Of course, when I make these observations I always measure what the public thought, what you guys thought of their performances, the same when Cooper has been missing and Pascal had to play. In the last games, Forshaw and Pascal have been the alternatives when Phillips hasn’t been there and have been satisfactory. In a need to replace Klich, Forshaw and Dallas have done this in a good way also, the patience that Rodrigo needed has bared through and we found in him an offensive midfielder that is solid. In the absence of Bamford, James has continuously given better performances in that position and not to have brought in more players has allowed Gelhardt to express himself and the absences of Raphinha and Harrison have been covered by Summerville and James and always with the acceptance of the public and the media so I try to see if we really have to adhere to these demands for signings or if to keep the same players and to have patience because it allows James to consolidate himself, for Gelhardt to find the space, that Summerville can have the same process as Gelhardt, managing that Forshaw has a constant presence in the team once again, allowing for Rodrigo as a 9 or a 10 to show his qualities, being able to allow Ayling to play well as a centre back and Dallas as a left full back, capitalising on Pascal as an important player and Shackleton so I am not the owner of the truth, nor am I immovable in my point of view. But there are messages that I need to know how to interpret and for that reason I evaluate the decisions that I make, without this having been just my decision I always give an example that is there that when such a young player came as an alternative for Casilla who came from Real Madrid it was also a question mark so of course there are players with more entity but it is also true that the contributions of Shackleton, Pascal, Cresswell, Forshaw coming back, Summerville, Gelhardt, that if we had a squad with more players, these options that have consolidated the group wouldn’t have been produced. And of course no other club can incorporate players without limits, and a club that has rought Rodrigo, that has bought James, that bought Raphinha, that bought Llorente, Firpo, Koch, there are many signings and naturally in the capital that is invested I feel completely that I have been given the resources. I need to put the points of correction where I think they should be so I don’t have positions that are fundamentalist and I don’t abandon in any way but I am obliged to analyse the messages that I receive. Tyler is also someone who I have accompanied with, with his efforts to get into the team and whilst he continues to have that desire to fight for a place in the team then I will still want him to be here. It is different when a player has the desire to leave. When a player has a desire to leave, there is no point in trying to keep him. To summarise, I think the club has put enough human resources at my disposal for the results to be different. I can’t attribute the position in the table, nor the injuries to having not sufficient amount of players. Obviously what is left is the management of the players that I have and I think that is where the focus of the attention is and everything that I have just said I have said it by giving points and arguments.”
On Poveda’s injury
“We have established a contact with him, all of the the technical staff to know about our sadness and how we will be close after what has happened to him. Either way, he is a young man with a lot of character and that is going to allow him to recover and to come back stronger than before.”
What is most satisfying about this job?
“My job provides me that satisfaction when we do things on the pitch that are valued. I know clearly when we defend well and I know clearly when we attack well. And I also know how to perceive the responses of the assistance to the game to what we generate. To give an example, when the first half finished against Tottenham, I realised that the stadium had valued what we had done, whether it be our own fans or whether those who assisted the game in general. But that impulse that we did in the first half wasn’t long enough or it didn’t last us long enough in the second half.”
Does the problem you tried to fix at Spurs last weekend occupy much of this week when you have to prepare for the eventuality for another team trying to replicate that and how do you prevent that from happening?
“The previous game is always a reference and the next one in the same way, we combine both things and the week has been sufficiently long to correct and to project.”
Concerned at position in table or are the injuries a big mitigating factor?
“The injuries are not one of the reasons why we are there and of course it worries me the position that we occupy in the table. I am in charge of a group of footballers to warrant, to deserve to be in a higher position and the club has trusted in me. One of this aspects that shows this confidence is what they pay me to do this job and of course these results that I am offering are not what is expected.”
On Gelhardt - surprised at his acclimatisation at all?
“In some way, when I put a not habitual player in the starting XI, it is because I am convinced he can offer a positive result. It doesn’t surprise me that he is able to compete at this level, but he has worked a lot to gain these opportunities that he has been given.”
On learning from last season’s games v Brighton?
“They are referential but that’s about it because every game is new.”
On Brighton under Potter
“They are a team that is flexible in the way that they line up a d they play players in different positions, they do this very naturally and efficiently.”
On players playing with freedom, like they are a child still, like Raphinha
“To be a professional player, an important contribution is to possess a high spirit of amateur. I am referring to that what a player develops when they play for nothing, without expecting any recompense apart from the victory. They are the future professional footballers, they consolidate the most important parts of that to then become professionals, Raphinha is a clear example of this, he hasn’t lost anything of that what you achieve, that you get when you play for fun. Of course, he has added to this amateur spirit, he has added a lot of things that the professional game demands, the important thing is the development of those virtues that come from when you are a child because the ones that come with the professional game are complementary. Of course, Raphinha is recognised and he will be so more and more for his capacity to invent responses that are not expected and that is not a virtue that you obtain with the professionalism, you have to conserve it and keep it despite the professionalism.”